Villaggio Cucinella EXPO

Sustainable housing for (and after) Expo 2015

When thinking about Expo 2015 we have all wondered, some sooner than others: what’s going to happen after? The re-use of the areas should be one of the first issues to be considered while planning temporary structures for major events.
Mario Cucinella, along with Teknoarch and B22, has been thinking about this. The Expo Village, which is emerging as a residential campus for the thousands of delegates who will visit the exhibition, will become social housing after Expo 2015. More specifically, in collaboration with the FIA (Fund for Residential), 31% of the accommodation (210 apartments) will be left for future disposal and sale, another 31% of the accommodation will be granted in long term rental contracts, while the remaining 38% will be immediately distribution after the event. The challenge, for Cucinella, is to show that even in Italy you can produce high-quality design with an eye on sustainability, and then deal with the real estate market at affordable prices. Post-Expo 2015 will give us some great feedback about the feasibility of this concept. Expo Village is a high energy-efficient housing complex; the buildings have been designed and constructed according to the rules of passive design, starting from an optimal orientation, a correct positioning of the windows, screens and terraces thanks to a precise preliminary assessment of the sunshine hours per day. The guidelines of the passive design make it possible to have the maximum illumination in the interior spaces whilst avoiding the risk of overheating.
The buildings are also fitted with the best technologies for efficiency and energy saving. Among these are district heating, photovoltaic panels, radiant floor, facade coating and low emission glass, which together form a strong isolation power nucleus, and a specific air treatment system. The buildings evoke the image of rocks of different heights tapering upwards, and spreading into a play of transparency and opacity, vibrant colors and shades. The volumes of the buildings consist of regular - and yet faceted - shapes, uniformed from a material point of view but variegated in colors. In addition to the buildings for Expo 2015, from July 2016 another four buildings will be built, totaling 684 apartments to become the largest social housing estate in Italy. The opening of the complex is scheduled for May 1st, 2015. The interior furnishings are 100% Made in Italy, results of a competition for young Italian designers. In short, the basis to meet the challenge is looking good, now we just have to wait for Expo. 

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